Write a review

My Invisalign Experience - Villa Park, CA

So far, so good. I am nearing the last few days...

So far, so good. I am nearing the last few days of my 2nd set of aligners. The whole thing is expected to take about 20 months.
I am 53 years old. I had braces in high school on my top arch only, and was never 100 percent happy with my teeth, so I finally decided to fo something about it, almost 3 1/3 years after my initial Invisalign consultation.
I selected "not sure" above, because I won't know if it was worth it for 20 months, when I see my final results!

my teeth with my 2nd set

better lighting

in this pic you can see my lower extraction

another pic

bottom arch, showing extraction

3rd set of aligners

I popped in my 3rd set of aligners on Sunday night, May 11th. For the 1st time, I finally felt pressure, so I also took 1 Tylenol. I have had them In for about 27 hours now- they have only been out for 45 minutes so far. I have a feeling that at the end of these 3 weeks with set #3, that I will see some change!

I am in severe pain last 24 hours

I have tmj, for as long as I can remember, over 40 years, I hear a "pop" every time I open my mouth, on my right side, and it has caused me over the years to grind my teeth while I sleep. That wasthe extent of my symptoms, never any pain. I am nearing the end of my 3rd set of aligners. I noticed about 1 week ago that my popping sound every time I open my mouth is not as loud/severe. Last night, the pain started. It appears to be in my upper left jaw area, but it is hard to pinpoint. I have a dentist appt for sn unrelated issue this Friday, and my next ortho appt is Monday, to get my 4th set of aligners. I will ask both what could be causing this pain. I am taking extra strength Tylenol since Thursday morning. I had a very hard time sleeping today, and am working all night tonight. I think the pain must be related to my tmj, and the aligners, and the reshaping of my jaw that invisalign causes. Hopefully this pain is very temporary!

Called my ortho's emergency #

My orthodontist called me back within 10 minutes. I reminded him of my TMJ disorder, and he told me to remove my aligners for as day or 2, to hopefully refuce the swelling. I guess I have swelling.....I removed my aligners at approx. 11:00 p.m. They have been out about 35 minutes now, and my pain is 80 petcent gone! I can live with this level of pain. I wonder if the pain will come back when I put them back in, and if this pain will delay getting set #4 on Monday, or change my treatment plan in any way.

the "relief" only lasted about 30 minutes

Still in agony. I switched from Extra Strength Tylenol to Advil Liqui-Gels, but still in major pain; shooting pains also, every 2 or 3 minutes. I need to remember to breathe!

in case I have to quit Invisalign

This may be as straight as my teeth are ever going to be. I hope it gets better, and I can continue on!

intermittent pain

My aligners are still out. I plan on getting a vicodin prescription filled today, and then go home and put my aligners back in tonight. Today I got a slushie icy drink at Costco. It started a massive pain attack that luckily only lasted about 20 minutes. That sounds kind of like nerve pain to me. I can't wait to hear what my ortho says at my appt on Monday. I am scared to eat or drink anything now!

at dentist

In chair now. Update later. Thx

update

I made an "emergency visit" to my new dentist who is scheduled to do my root canal on Monday June 9th. He is sending me to yet another dentist tomorrow (Friday) morning, for an I and D (incision and drainage). Yes, I am going to have pus drained !!! I cannot eat soup using a soup spoon. I can't open my mouth that wide, I used a straw. The root canal is still scheduled for Monday, if I can open my mouth by then. I only had 1 pain pill left, and I got a refill.

update

Root canal performed under general anesthesia on Monday June 9th, after conference call between 3 different dentists. They opened my jaw somehow while I was under to be able to do the root canal. I still cannot open my mouth enough to eat or brush my teeth. On a liquid diet. Still numb bottom front teeth, numb bottom lip and swollen upper neck.

inserted my upper aligner tonight

I decided to put my top aligner (set 3) back in tonight. It has been 2 weeks since I stopped wearing them. I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. If I feel any pain, I will remove them immediately. Leaving bottom aligner out still. Still numb, and unable to open mouth very far. I was able to brush and floss tonight, barely.

another thing

Still numb bottom front teeth, numb bottom lip, and chin area. I think my mouth is opening a tiny bit wider today. As of yesterday, I weighed the same as when I was 25 years old! The only good thing about having an abscess, I have lost 5 or 6 pounds!!! I do not lose (or gain) weight easily. It remains pretty constant. I always weigh myself on my sister's fancy digital scale, so I am comparing apples to apples. 5' 6" tall, 124.6 pounds.

scale

My current weight.

update, June 18-19th

During the night, at work, Wednesday night/Thursday morning, my lower left jaw swelled up again. I called the endodontist who performed my root canal and went to see her at 4:30 p.m. The dentist from next door walked over and they were trying to figure out what is wrong. They do not know. They prescribed another antibiotic and also a steroid to reduce inflammation. I may have to finally get that incision & drainage next Monday ( I need to get some sleep tomorrow/Friday). They told me to wait on getting measured for the crown, so I cancelled that appt.

incision & drainage cancelled/postponed

I went in for my surgery this morning, and my swelling was almost gone. The dentist decided against doing the surgery. He said if he cut me open that he would find no puss. He said to finish my antibiotics, and let's see if my swelling comes back. I am still wearing set #2. As of yesterday, I should have started set #5, changing into a new set every 3 weeks, so this ordeal has put me way behind schedule. I may be wearing set #2 for another month! I have no idea. Not sure what is next, just wait & see, I guess.

Can anyone tell me how many total sets I will have?

I read sll of the Invisalign reviews, and I read on one of them that you can tell how many sets of aligners you will have to wear by reading the numbers that are printed on your aligners. My current aligners read "82810-1A-L and 82810-1AU. Can anyone tell me how many sets this means that I will have to wear. I was told by my orthofontist, 3 weeks per set, for 20 to 24 months, which Is about 35 sets.

appt made for July 2nd

I have an appt for July 2nd with the dentist who will eventually do my crown. Probably not next week though, since I am still swollen, & cannot open my jaw very far. I am curious as to what will happen next, and what the dentist will say. I will be finished with my antibiotics by then.
I am still numb, and it is driving me crazy. It feels like when your foot is asleep, but it is in my jaw, that tingly feeling.
I have been wearing set #2, both uppers and lowers the last several days.

I got a new temp crown today

I was measured for my permanent crown today and will receive it in 2 weeks. I also got a better temporary crown put on today. I am still a little bit swollen, but not really noticeable. I am still numb, and cannot open my jaw very wide, but wide enough to let the dentist do his work today. He asked for my bottom aligner, in order to make the crown. I gave it to him (set #2), and when I got home, I put in set #3, both top & bottom. I had been wearing set #2, this time around, for 4 1/2 weeks, so hopefully it is o.k to install set #3, (again). I had previously worn set #3 for almost 3 weeks when this whole ordeal started.

Big update today

Today I received my permanent crown. I then went to my orthodontist, 1 block away, and got my 4th set, PLUS 9 attachments!!! It is 5:00 p.m, and I have not eaten or drank anything all day yet. I don't know if I will be able to get my aligners off or not, but will try so I can eat something later today.

another thing

I can open my mouth/jaw about 90 percent now. Still numb lower front teeth, numb bottom lip, and numb chin.
Pain is all gone, abscess all healed.

question

Has anyone noticed that their teeth start moving faster once the attachments are put on? Just curious. It seems logical that they would start to move quicker. If you have attachments applied with set #1, you would not know.

I got my 5th set today !!!

I had my orthodontist appt this afternoon. I had been wearing my 4th set for only 2 weeks, but he had me put in my 5th set, gave me my 6th set, told me to start wearing the 6th set 2 weeks from today, and come back for my next appt in 4 weeks. My ortho had me changing every 3 weeks, and now it is every 2 weeks. They gave me one of the bags that my aligners come in today, and it said "set 5 of 24". 24 sets, changing every 2 weeks does not equal 20 to 24 months. It comes out to next April !!! Maybe 24 sets is just "phase 1", or something like that. I will ask at my next appt on August 28th.

another thing

And, since I lost 2 months of treatment time because of my cracked tooth/ abscess setback, being finished in April 2015 would only be a total of 11 months of treatment time. I am very curious now. I will ask at my next appt.
By the way, I still have numb lower front teeth, numb chin, and numb bottom lip. I can open my jaw about 90 percent now.

I now have a space

In the past 12 hours or so, I have developed a small space in my lower arch, to my right of my most crooked tooth. I know that this has to occur in order to rotate that tooth, but it looks funny. Not noticable with my aligners in,
WhIch is pretty much all the time.

I may be done by April, 2015 !!!

I decided to not wait, and called my ortho's office on Monday, Aug. 4th. I will have only 24 sets, unless refinements are needed. So, when my ortho told me 20 to 24 months, I guess he was quoting me the "worst case scenario". Subtracting the 2 months that I lost due to my abscess, if no refinements are needed, that Is only 11 months !!!

I will be changing to my 6th set tonight

Sometime in the middle of the night tonight, I will be putting in my 6th set of aligners. This 5th set gave me a space on my bottom arch, so that tooth next to
the extraction space can rotate, and in turn, cause my bottom arch front teeth to become more vertical. Still numb in bottom lip, chin, and lower front teeth. I drool when I eat and brush my teeth, since I can't feel anything running down my chin !!!! Getting lots of stains on my shirts !!!

Set #7 went in yesterday

I just took my aligners out for less than 20 minutes, after wearing them for 13 hours straight. It hurt to put them back in, mainly the top arch. I will leave them in for the next 12 hours before I take them out again. I have lots of space in my bottom arch now, to help rotate my tooth to my right of my extraction site.

extraction site

My space is getting smaller.

Halfway thru set #7

Halfway thru set #7. I will be wearing sets 7 and 8 for an extra day or 2 each (15 or 16 days), because we had gotten in this pattern where my ortho was having me come in every 4th Thursday to get my next 2 sets. All I want to do on Thursdays is sleep all day because I work Wed. & Thurs. nights, so we have changed my appts to every 4th Tuesday, late afternoons so I can sleep in the morning.

Set #8 is now in !

I inserted set #8 tonight, after wearing set #7 for 17 days. I plan on wearing set #8 for 16 days, until my next ortho appt.
I forgot to take a pic before I put this set in, and I always leave them in initially for at least 18 hours to avoid major pain.

Space getting wider

Slightly less than 24 hours with this new set, and my lower arch space is really widening up !
Dr. Ken Fischer

An "Elite Premier Provider", member of the American Association of Orthodontists. He is my nephew's orthodontist, who had traditional braces several years ago, and still has periodic follow-up appts with him.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful

Comments (66)

Sort by

18 hours!  Do you just eat one meal that day, then, or how do you work that?
  • Reply
Yes, I make sure that I eat a lot before inserting them. I think it reduces the pain to leave them in as long as possible when putting in a brand new set. Also, only taking them out for very short periods of time for the first 2 days or so.
  • Reply
I think you're right--that's certainly my experience and the consensus I've seen on here.  But 18 hours I've never tried at the beginning of a new tray.  That's what I'll di next time I have to break in a new retainer.  Those are heinous :D.  Do you do a lot of intermittant fasting?
  • Reply
I don't know what "intermittant fasting" is, but I don't eat for those 18 hours once every 2 weeks, when I put in my new trays.
  • Reply
Oh, okay :).  Some people do that kind of thing several times per week!  I used to when I was working out like crazy, but it was hard on my body.  Great to see you're getting some more space there on the bottom!
  • Reply
Yeah, you definitely need to do what works for your own mental (and physical!) health.  Glad to know that the doc was willing to switch the schedule.  Any progress on the numbness?
  • Reply
No, still numb, and sometimes I imagine I am drooling, grab a napkin real quick, and there is nothing there !
  • Reply
Better than the alternative of drooling and not knowing, I suppose!  I wonder if the imagining has something to do with weird nerve impulses.
  • Reply
Whew!  Finally coming along so we can see some progress!  With such a difficult start, it must be nice :D.
  • Reply
Yes it is, thanks. :)
  • Reply
The drooling does not happen all the time, and it is not too obvious. I am trying to be extra careful. I look in the mirror when I brush my teeth now, so I don't get white foam all over my chin, shirt, and the floor!
  • Reply
Oops--sorry, I didn't get notified of your reply cause it wasn't under my comment.  Thanks for answering, though.  It reminds me of what the folks over in jaw surgery go through.  They are generally numb afterwards for a while (6 months to a year!) and they have to deal with all that.  And a liquid diet.  Blah.
  • Reply
I'm surprised at how much space was made that quickly!  I also somehow failed to realize how severe that numbness is.  If you're drooling while you eat, that's really inconvenient.  Do you avoid eating out, or is it not that obvious?
  • Reply
Whoooop! Finally some great news!!!
  • Reply
Your teeth weren't that severe to start out--it wouldn't surprise me at all if your treatment time was just about a year, give or take, including refinements.  Please et us know what they say when you ask :D!
  • Reply
I definitely noticed that.  They also seem to move faster, though, after they start getting looser--so not the first week.
  • Reply
O.k good. I am looking forward to seeing some movement. And my attachments aren't bad at all. Even I can barely detect them.
  • Reply
Nice!  Not everyone's attachments are well-hidden, so that's good that yours are!  Nine isn't so very many either--totally doable! :)
  • Reply
Progress.  But it's still worrying that you are numb.  I see symptoms like that in the jaw surgery community all the time, but not in Invisalign.  Has there been any progress on that at all, other than the pain receding, or?

I'm assuming the crown fit in your aligners, so that's great!  That doesn't always happen :).
  • Reply
I gave my dentist my 2nd set of aligners, so he could make the crown to fit. I dId some internet research, and I think one of the numbing shots hit my nerve. It can take 6 to 12 months to get the feeling back.
  • Reply
Smart :)  About giving the aligner, I mean!

And re. the numbness, at least that's an explanation, and it makes sense.  And they said it's usual for the sensation to return, I assume.  That's really heartening!
  • Reply
I don't get "little baggies", they just hand the aligners to me.
  • Reply
Oh!  Huh.  I never even considered that.  Each of my aligners was pre-packaged in an individually labeled bag.  My retainers as well.  They came from Invisalign that way.  I'm always surprised how different doctors handle things!
  • Reply
I'm not sure, but I always thought the number they were talking about was on the little baggie each aligner comes in.  Because on that one it says "aligner x of y", so mine always said, like, "aligner 3 of 18" even though I only ended up doing 15 aligners before my refinement.  If I had to take a guess, it'd be that the numbers on your actual aligners are case number, aligner number, left/right.  Your math is likely the best estimate, and your doctor could tell you more.  But there are also mid-course corrections and refinements which may add time, and it may be that your doctor moves to 2 weeks/aligner instead of 3 at some point, if thing start going well.
  • Reply
O.k, thank you.
  • Reply